SEATTLE - An Idaho federal court was justified in a finding of contempt by a prison operator that has failed to comply with the settlement in a class suit filed by prisoners alleging that inadequate staffing led to health and safety issues, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 23 (Joshua Kelly, et al. v. Timothy Wengler, et al., Nos. 13-35972 and 14-35199, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9681).
NEW YORK - A federal appeals panel on May 23 affirmed a New York federal judge's dismissal of a class action against Citigroup Inc. brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act on the grounds that it is barred by the law's three-year statute of limitations (Steven Muehlgay, et al. v. Citigroup Inc., et al., No. 15-2461, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9349).
STOCKHOLM - A Swedish care company on May 23 announced that a tribunal in London has ordered two companies within its group to pay another entity $9,920,299 for improperly terminating an agreement to purchase a patient identification product.
NEW ORLEANS - In a negligence lawsuit, a marine liability expert is limited to testifying on opinions raised in an original report, a Louisiana federal judge ruled May 23, finding that the second report is not based on newly discovered evidence (Joseph Walton v. Enterprise Marine Services, LLC, No. 14-2468, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67408).
CLEVELAND - An arbitrator must decide the arbitrability of a former Uber Technologies Inc.'s drivers wage and employment status allegations, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 23, finding that the driver failed to timely opt out of the arbitration provision of the services agreement to which he consented (LaDon Bruster v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 15-2653, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67523).
PASADENA, Calif. - Two groups of parents who want their disabled children to be schooled separately from the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) general, non-disabled student population should be allowed to intervene in a class action brought on behalf of all disabled students in LAUSD, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 20 (Chanda Smith, et al. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al. v. April Munoz, et al., Nos. 14-55224 and 14-55256, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9249).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on May 23 excluded in part evidence of a plaintiff's intoxication in a civil lawsuit brought against police officers; however, the judge denied the plaintiff's request to preclude evidence of his guilty plea to his traffic violation (Imran Ali v. Police Officer William Connick and Sergeant Donald Kipp, No. 11-5297, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67466).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurance company's expert may testify on the cause of a fire to property, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled May 23, finding that although the expert failed to collect some relevant information and perform tests that would have strengthened the opinion's basis, the challenges go to the weight of his opinions (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Rosa-Lee Anderson and Deandre Patterson, No. 15-2651, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66481).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 20 reversed certification of a class of homeowners in a Minneapolis neighborhood who have sued General Mills Inc. for environmental contamination, finding that the class lacks requisite commonality and cohesiveness (Karl Ebert, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9233).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on May 19 granted a plaintiff's motion in limine to prevent E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. from questioning his treating physician regarding causation in his claim that DuPont is liable for his cancer from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 20 affirmed in part and denied in part a California federal judge's summary judgment ruling in favor of defendants in a class action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Geoffrey Moyle, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Retirement Benefits Plan, et al., No. 13-56330, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9251).
NEW YORK - Transfer of a securities class action lawsuit to another federal district court is proper because shareholders' claims could have been brought in that court and because the relevant factors "overwhelmingly support transfer of this action to the District," a federal judge in New York ruled May 19 (William Ahrens, et al. v. CTI Biopharma Corp., et al., No. 16-1044, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66139).
SAN FRANCISCO - Dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because shareholders failed to properly plead loss causation in making their federal securities law claims against a biotechnology company and others, a federal judge in California ruled May 20 (Francis J. Bonanno v. Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc., et al., No. 15-1795, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66841).
HONG KONG - An energy firm on May 24 announced that it has notified the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) and CNOOC China Limited (CCL) of its intent to commence formal arbitration proceedings against them in relation to the alleged mismanagement of a gas field.
PHILADELPHIA - In a May 20 letter to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Viacom Inc. says that the U.S. Supreme Court's May 16 ruling in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins provides further support to affirm a lower court's ruling that dismissed a putative class action against it under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) due to lack of standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 15-1441, 3rd Cir.).
PADUCAH, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on May 20 excluded certain testimony from a medical expert in a wrongful death lawsuit, finding that the expert may not opine about the standard of care to which the law holds a reasonably prudent maritime outfit (Donna Tindle, as administrator of the Estate of Jimmie W. Tindle v. Hunter Marine Transport, Inc., No. 14-00110, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66418).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 23 vacated an order dismissing a case alleging manipulation of the U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) that had been consolidated with others in a multidistrict litigation, finding that horizontal price-fixing constitutes a per se antitrust violation, a plaintiff alleging such a violation does not need to separately plead harm to competition and a consumer who pays a higher price on account of horizontal price-fixing suffers antitrust injury (Ellen Gelboim, et al. v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., Nos. 13-3565, 13-3636, 15-432, 15-441, 15-454, 15-477, 15-494, 15-498, 15-524, 15-537, 15-547, 15-551, 15-611, 15-620, 15-627, 15-733, 15-744, 15-778, 15-825 and 15-830, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9366).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A plaintiff's motion to compel certain documents and records compiled during a trademark investigation was granted, in part, by a Louisiana federal magistrate judge on May 19 (Michael Swoboda v. Continental Incorporated Inc., No. 14-19, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65790).
CINCINNATI - A DNA analyst presented reliable testimony in a criminal lawsuit when he said the process used to identify a defendant as the likely major DNA profile found on three dust masks has no known error rate or accepted procedure for determining an error rate, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 18 (United States of America v. James J. Eastman, No. 14-6459, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9290).
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on May 20 upheld a defendant's conviction of first-degree murder in connection with a death, finding that recent scientific developments have not discredited compositional bullet lead analysis (CBLA), which was used in expert testimony (Glendale More Jr. v. State of Iowa, No. 14-1623, Iowa Sup.; 2016 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 60).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 17 granted a Brazilian insurer's motion to stay enforcement of the confirmation of a number of reinsurance arbitration awards while the confirmations are pending appeal (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - An insurer brought up in a federal court in New York on May 17 the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' recent decision in the NFL "Deflategate" case, claiming that party-appointed arbitrators are not meant to be neutral but only disinterested (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London Subscribing to Treaty No. 0272/04 v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00374, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - A group of lead plaintiffs argue in a May 18 brief that their putative class claims related to the breach of a digital smart toys maker's website should not be dismissed, telling an Illinois federal court that they properly alleged contractual claims based on the defendant's failure to keep their personally identifiable information (PII) secure (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 granted a request by the Republic of the Congo to voluntarily dismiss its appeal and to relieve its counsel in its challenge to a default judgment entered against it in a case filed by Commissions Import Export S.A. (Commisimpex) in relation to the confirmation of a $249,959,433.50 arbitration award (Commissions Import Export S.A. v. Republic of the Congo, et al., 1:13-cv-00713, D.C. Cir.).
LINCOLN, Neb. - A trial judge did not err in allowing an expert opinion from a sexual assault nurse examiner regarding a victim's alleged bruises into evidence at trial, a Nebraska appeals panel ruled May 17, upholding a conviction of first-degree sexual assault (State of Nebraska v. Dwan D. Harden, No. A-15-536, Neb. App.; 2016 Neb. App. LEXIS 99).